EKU beach volleyball announces first recruiting class in program history

Head coach Johnna Bazzani talks to Rachel Woody and Kennedy Wilson during a beach volleyball match last season at South Carolina. 

Eastern Kentucky University beach volleyball head coach Johnna Bazzani announced the addition of four members — Rachel Woody, Kaylin Johnson, Alexis Falcone and Valerie Franklin — on Friday, April 17.

“This is an exciting time in EKU Athletics to announce our first ever beach only recruits that will play for us next spring,” Bazzani said in a press release. “Rachel and Kaylin have been a part of our beach program for the past two years, and will be signing to play beach volleyball as graduate students.”

Woody played the past four seasons of indoor volleyball for the Colonels and has played beach volleyball for the last two seasons. Woody posted a team-best five wins on the season last year. She posted a 5-1 record in three-set matches. Woody posted a team-best 695 assists her senior year during the indoor season.

Johnson has been a member of the indoor team the last four years and the beach team the last two seasons. She posted a win in the season finale, 4-1, over Carson-Newman on April 13.Johnson finished second on the team in kills with 189 during her senior season. 

Falcone, a graduate transfer, played her final two indoor seasons at Indiana Wesleyan. She helped lead her team to a 38-3 record and a trip to the NAIA National Championship Quarterfinals her senior year. Falcone posted a NAIA best 1,618 assists on the season and finished second in assists per game. She was named Setter of the Week eight times during her senior year. The graduate transfer finished with 93 kills, 30 aces and 286 digs.

“Alex is a graduate transfer from Indiana Wesleyan where she played for a very good indoor program and had lots of success and Valerie is a freshman from Rockcastle County,” Bazzani said in a press release.

Franklin comes to EKU after helping lead her Rockcastle County team to a 24-12 record and a district runner up her senior year. She posted 365 kills, 99 aces and 251 digs during her senior campaign. She was named All-12th Region Second Team during the regular season. 

“These four are going to be a part of history, being a part of the first team competing for an OVC Championship,” Bazzani said in a press release. 

These players are the first beach volleyball signees in program history. The beach volleyball season is expected to begin in Feb. 2021. 

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